ST. LOUIS -- It was 10:42 a.m. Sunday when hockey officially returned to the Scottrade Center. And there was quite the crowd to welcome it back.
With the NHL lockout in the rear view mirror and the first regular season game just six days away, the reigning Central Division Champion St. Louis Blues opened training camp with a 90-minute practice in front of an energetic 5,500 fans at their home rink.
And they couldn't have been more surprised by the turnout.
"I've never seen anything like that for a practice," said captain David Backes. "They are obviously glad to have hockey back just like we are and I'm glad they still care about the game and are going to support us here in an awesome building we have.
"There's always an uncertainty when you wipe 30 games off the schedule and you hear a lot of the banter about people not coming back or asking for refunds but it's good to see that people still have the passion and still care."
Some wondered whether attendance and interest would ...